Say konnichiwa to more of Ari's Easter eggs. Ariana Grande's "7 Rings" music video teaser, which the singer dropped via social media on Jan. 14, may have been less than 14 seconds long, but there are plenty subtle hints for Arianators to dissect prior to the track's Friday, Jan. 18 premiere date. Before fans even got a chance to play the clip, Grande already gave a likely hint — as has become Ari's M.O. as of late — by writing the post's caption partially in Japanese.
Along with "7 Rings" and "Friday" spelled out in English, Grande also included their Japanese translations in her caption. Aside from the video's pink-hued style and Tokyo-inspired, virtual reality vibes, the sneak peek features even more Japanese characters in graffiti and text on bottles. (What seems to be a muffled funny phone conversation concluding with Ari saying they're "about to go crazy again" can also be heard in the video.)
As it turns out, Grande has been speaking Japanese for years (and there's even an entire YouTube compilation to prove it). In 2017, Billboard even called out the linguistic skills she showed off during a Dangerous Woman Tour stop in Japan. (The Grammy nominee can be heard saying phrases like "How are you?" "Are you having a good time?" and "I love you" in the fan video.) Grande even attempted to give Jimmy Fallon a Japanese lesson back in 2015.
Fans also can't forget that Grande slyly teased her "7 Rings" song's mere existence in her "Thank U, Next" music video. (Her Elle Woods-inspired Porsche's license plate read "7 Rings" in the clip.) What fans didn't know at the time, however, was that the instrumental version of "7 Rings" is playing at the beginning of the "Thank U, Next" video.
So when another car — a Cadillac, to be exact — popped up in the "7 Rings" preview, fans' eyes went rightly to the license plate. In this case, the characters in the top left corner are somewhat unintelligible, but what definitely follow are the numbers 25 and 1985. While the numerals' significance (or if they're also part of an upcoming song's title), isn't clear, Grande's song "One Late Time" did get a 1985-style remix in 2016. Maybe she's hinting at a new sound?
What's less mysterious, however, is what "7 Rings" is about. As Grande explained via Twitter in November:
"well ............. ‘twas a pretty rough day in nyc. my friends took me to tiffany’s. we had too much champagne. i bought us all rings. it was very insane and funny. & on the way back to the stu njomza was like ‘b*tch, this gotta be a song lol’. so we wrote it that afternoon."
In subsequent tweets, the singer revealed the rings' recipients, aside from Njomza: Victoria Monét, Alexa Luria, two friends named Tayla and Kaydence, video director Hannah Lux Davis, Courtney Chipolone — who played Gretchen Wieners in "Thank U, Next" — and Grande's mom and nonna, too, of course.
Monét and Luria were also both part of Grande's first still-image teases for "7 Rings," posing together in coordinating pink outfits. The singer also hinted at a potential "7 Rings" music video with several black and white images, and a short video of girls showing off rings on their fingers.
If the past is any indicator, Grande will pull out all the stops for her fans when "7 Rings" drops on Friday.